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Showing posts from December, 2016

VISUALIZING THE SLAPPEY PLEDGE: CONFRONT THE FACTS YET NEVER LOSE FAITH

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I WILL CONFRONT THE BRUTAL FACTS YET NEVER LOSE FAITH. I will seek out and embrace the truth. No matter how bad, I will confront each situation head on with unwavering faith that we will prevail. I will choose to have a positive attitude in all circumstances and will embrace every problem as an opportunity.

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This pledge comes straight from Jim Collin's book Good to Great when it describes the "Stockdale Paradox." The paradox is between two things: confronting the brutal facts, but no matter how bad they are, never losing faith that you will prevail in the end. Below is an excerpt from Collin's book where he interviews Stockdale and explains the principle.

The name refers to Admiral Jim Stockdale, who was the highest ranking United States military officer in the "Hanoi Hilton" prisoner-of-war camp during the height of the Vietnam War. Tortured over 20 times during his eight-year imprisonment, Stockdale lived out the war without any prison…

4 COMMUNICATION TECHNOLOGY TRENDS FOR 2017

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Over the course of 2016, a number of communication technologies have come forward and grown to encompass much of how we do business today. Communications companies have continued to improve upon their technologies and have made it possible to interact smoother and easier than ever before. Here are just a few of the trends we have seen over the course of 2016 that will continue to change the face of business communications.
UNIFIED COMMUNICATIONS With an eye on collaboration and providing both internal and external communications solutions, unified communications is a hot topic. These systems often provide collaborative tools, screen sharing capabilities, chat functions and more. This allows your team to communicate better with customers, but also with one another in real time to solve problems. Instead of bouncing customers between multiple departments and forcing them to explain their situation over and over, now data can be passed along in an instant and all parties can be brought …

VISUALIZING THE SLAPPEY PLEDGE: VALIDATE

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I WILL VALIDATE. I will create clarity and avoid misunderstandings by discussing expectations upfront. I will establish mutually understood objectives and deadlines for all projects, issues, and commitments. I will confirm completion of tasks by asking customers and coworkers to validate my work.

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A couple of years ago I got a call from a customer—he is usually always a nice guy, but I could tell he was a little irritated this time.  He said, "This isn't that big of a deal, but why does it take 10 days to get a simple voicemail change done?" I immediately apologized for the oversight and told him we would get it taken care of immediately. We got it handled quickly and it blew over with the customer, but I couldn't help feeling dismayed that we had squandered a 3 hour response and replaced it with a 10 day response because we didn't validate.

After I investigated the situation I found that the call had come in at about 12 pm on a Wednesday.  Si…

BEST STRATEGIES FOR MANAGING BUSINESS TELEPHONE AND COMMUNICATION TECHNOLOGY

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The way you approach your phone technology for business is just as important as the type of equipment you actually use. In order to make the most out of your communications system, you must have a clear-cut strategy for solving problems and achieving results. Whether you choose to try a DIY approach or you contact a professional consultant, here are a few things to keep in mind.
CHOOSE A CHAMPION Trying to update your phone technology for business without having a plan in place can be costly. It often leads to buying too much or too little hardware, or even buying the wrong hardware altogether. The very first thing you need to do is appoint someone to lead the project. They need to have a set of guidelines and objectives to work toward, and they will be in charge of learning the ins and outs of the system, working with contractors to get things done and keeping management informed of the progress. Having a single point of contact to lead this project will ensure that everyone is on t…

3 BEST PREMISE SMALL BUSINESS PHONE SYSTEMS OF 2016

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Your small business needs a reliable, robust communications system that offers plenty of features at a price you can handle. In 2016, there were a number of standout small business phone systems designed for on-premise use. This phone technology for business is built on the infrastructure of traditional phone lines and is separate from cloud-hosted options entering the marketplace. Here are a few of the top-selling options for this year.
THE DIGIUM SWITCHVOX 310 In the world of phone technology for business, the Digium Switchvox 310 is one of the best-value options for your money. It allows for both traditional landline calls and VoIP calls. It is a slimline rack mounted box that offers an interactive switchboard, CRM integration, video calling, call queues and more. It is perfect for small and mid-sized businesses who are looking to upgrade while keeping some of their existing equipment in place. Digium also offers seven other versions of the Switchvox in various sizes for added fun…

FILLING IN THE GAPS IN YOUR COMMUNICATION TECHNOLOGY

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If you're looking for a way to up your game and change the way you communicate with your customers, you may be thinking that you just need to fill the gaps in your communication technology without scrapping the whole system. The good news is that there are plenty of ways to update parts of your system while keeping some elements the same. The real question is: if you had to build your ideal communication system for the first time today, which technologies would you be most excited about putting to work?
CHAT/EMAIL Today's communications systems are relying heavily on the Internet to deliver online customer service. Chat and email-based support allow customers more flexibility in resolving their problems and give you the opportunity to speed up your response times for better results. These online customer service tools also take stress off of your phone systems and operators by prioritizing customer contacts more effectively.
SCREEN SHARING Whether you are working between depa…

VISUALIZING THE SLAPPEY PLEDGE: DO YOUR BEST

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I WILL DO MY BEST. I will take pride in the quality of everything I do. I will ask myself, "Did I do my best work?" Everything I do has my signature, and I will make it excellent.

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In the Movie Facing the Giants, the coach pushes Brock to do his best. It's easy to see in this short clip where Brock wanted to give up but pushed through the difficulty and gave it his all.

I know you do what it takes to make customers happy. But the real question is, did you do your best? I like to think of this as similar to putting icing on a cake. The present isn't quite the same without finishing the job. I could make a great sale but fail to hand it off and I wouldn't have done my best.

One of the greatest enemies to "doing your best" is "doing too much." In my personal experience, the number one thing that prevents me from doing my best is that I am trying to do too much at once. And many of the things I do may have little to no real imp…

CAN COMMUNICATION TECHNOLOGY BOOST BUSINESS PROFITS?

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Every once in a while, we have a disbelieving business owner ask us, "Can communication technology really boost our profits?" The simple answer is yes. There are a number of reasons your communication technology has a direct impact on your overall profits. Your telephone and online communications systems are responsible not only for your team's productivity but also for the way that customers see your brand.
EFFICIENCY FIRST Modern communication technologies allow more people to stay connected more of the time. It also allows us to integrate multiple information systems into one streamlined process so that customers can reach out to your company in the most convenient way and still receive immediate and accurate assistance. Phone tag is no longer a part of customer service that we are willing to put up with. There are faster, more effective ways to get results today.

Of course, efficiency is important internally as well. Many business owners are shocked to see how fast …